Mark Forsyth

The Unknown Unknown

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Mark Forsyth – author of the Sunday Times Number One bestseller The Etymologicon – reveals in this essay, specially commissioned for Independent Booksellers Week, the most valuable thing about a really good bookshop.

Along the way he considers the wisdom of Donald Rumsfeld, naughty French photographs, why Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy would never have met online, and why only a bookshop can give you that precious thing – what you never knew you were looking for.
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19 printed pages
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    anapaulaborbollashared an impression2 years ago
    👍Worth reading


    anapaulaborbollahas quoted2 years ago
    If a bookshop contained every book ever written, what are the chances that you would find the one book you need? Well, they’d be perfect if you already knew what you needed, but, as I have been saying, that is not the point of a bookshop. That’s something for the internet. No, the perfect bookshop is small, small and selective.
    anapaulaborbollahas quoted2 years ago
    It is a room (or two) where the unknown unknowns of the world are laid out on tables and stacked in shelves. It is a room (or two) where you can find what you never knew you wanted, where your desires can be perpetually expanded.
    anapaulaborbollahas quoted2 years ago
    The internet takes your desires and spits them back out at you, consummated. You search, you put in the words you know, the things that were already on your mind, and it gives you back a book or a picture or a Wikipedia article. But that is all. The unknown unknown must be found otherwhere.

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